Volunteering together as a family is a wonderful way of creating a special bond and lasting memories for families. In an effort to make this easier for families, we offer a number of resources to help families continue to foster the giving spirit within the home and provide opportunities to give back to others. From ideas on inspiring and teaching compassion to community service project ideas for kids, teens, and families there is something for everyone.
Family Giving Boxes
Give your family the gift of compassion with a Family Giving Box. Added to your family routines, children soon learn the gift of giving.
Local Family Volunteer Opportunities
Community Service Ideas
Christmas Gift Drive – Organize a Christmas gift drive to provide needy families with gifts on Christmas day. Task seem a little daunting for your small family? Then why not ask other families in your neighborhood, church, school, or play group to get involved. Check with your local social services, churches, synagogues, or mosques for a list of families in need.
Homeless Shelters and Soup Kitchens – Donate food or supplies to your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Check the local yellow pages for homeless shelters and soup kitchens in your area.
Helping the Elderly – Volunteer to mow lawn or shovel snow for an elderly person in your community. Check with your local senior citizens center or place of worship for a list of people in need.
Visit a Nursing Home – Visit a local nursing home in your community. Many elderly in a home enjoy playing games, talking, or listening to a good book. Be sure to call the nursing home in advance to make arrangements for how your family can best help.
Special Olympics – Volunteer at the next Special Olympics event in your area. Events in your area as well as information on the Special Olympics organization can be found at specialolympics.org.
Help the Animals – Children love animals, so why not use this interest in animals to help out at your local Humane Society by donating your time or supplies (pet food, old blankets).
Backpack and School Supply Drive – Organize a backpack and school supply drive to help needy kids in your area. Check with your local social services organizations or place of worship for a list of kids in need.
Charity Carnival – Looking for a unique and fun idea for your next family volunteering effort? Then a Charity Carnival may be right for you. Plan a carnival for your backyard complete with carnival games, refreshments, and prizes and afterwards donate all the proceeds to your favorite charity. Invite friends from your neighborhood, place of worship, and your children's classes by printing up flyers (indicating which charity the carnival is for) and charging a set fee for entrance. You can set up a ticket booth and give guests tickets to use for the games and refreshments.
Support a Local United Way Charity – Use the United Way website to find a volunteer opportunity in your neighborhood. Simply type in your zip code!
Ideas for Teaching Compassion
Volunteer together as a family. Helping others in need can bring about an incredible sense of pride and fulfillment within people. So why not use these feelings of pride and accomplishment to help build lasting family ties and memories.
Talk about the importance of giving. Family dinners are a great place to have casual conversations about giving to others in need and to plan the next family volunteer event.
Talk or read about heroes and what it means to be one. Heroes can be someone at a local, national, or international level. Talking and learning about heroes helps to inspire family members to do great things with their skills and talents.
Establish a Family Giving Box and make it a habit to donate regularly.